Huge solar farm on edge of Hull would save millions of pounds in bills

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 7 Mar 2019

A major new solar farm on the edge of Hull would help a council become the first to produce all of its own electricity using green energy.

Renewables firm Gridserve has said the 131-acre site near Bilton would produce more than 25MWp of solar energy for Warrington Borough Council.

It would help the council save millions of pounds a year on its energy bills, and see East Yorkshire become home to the biggest solar farm to be built in the country since 2016.

A second solar farm to support the Bilton site would be built near York.

Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, said: “These will be the most advanced solar farms in the UK - and quite possibly the world - ushering in a new era of subsidy-free, truly sustainable energy.

Toddington Harper, CEO at Gridserve (Image: Calum Whiteley)

“We’ve completely rethought the solar model, looking in detail at how to maximise value at every step, and these projects will also pioneer the use of cutting-edge technologies that serve the grid.”

Warrington Council said it expected the two solar farms – which it has paid more than £60m for - to generate millions of pounds in profits every year for 30 years.

READ MORE: East Yorkshire port now running from solar power after £1m project

 The Hull solar farm will supply all the council’s electricity needs and cut its energy bills by up to £2 million a year.

Electricity from the York solar farm will initially be sold on the open market, although a number of other councils have expressed an interest in buying its power.


The Port of Goole is also now powered entirely from solar panels (Image: ABP)

Together the two solar farms will generate enough green electricity each year to supply the equivalent of more than 18,000 average UK homes, or power more than 30,000 electric vehicles, saving 25,000 tonnes of carbon per year.

Investec Bank will help fund construction of the solar farm near Hull.

READ MORE: Energy Works Hull's future thrown into chaos as main builder's contract terminated

 Olivier Fricot, of Investec, said: “We’re proud to have supported Gridserve on this landmark deal. Projects such as this one are fundamentally changing the way solar power is funded and delivered, and we see appetite for future projects following this template.”

The Hull solar farm will also feature a number of “firsts” for the UK solar industry, pioneering the commercial use of new technologies to maximise solar generation, make more money from electricity sales, and earn income from grid services.

It will become the first solar farm in the UK to use bifacial solar panels, capable of generating energy on both sides.

A battery storage system is also planned to be installed at Hull in a later phase of the project.



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